Updated: Jul 22, 2021
The question I hear often is: isn’t red wine supposed to be good for your health? Take it from me, your friendly wellness nurse: NO. Wait a second, you're probably asking yourself. I thought drinking was good for my heart? Where did this idea drinking red wine benefited heart health come from?
This all started in the 1980s with something called the French Paradox. French people had a relatively low risk of heart disease despite all the cheese they consumed. Could it be the wine? This is when resveratrol was discovered. Resveratrol is a type of plant compound found in red and purple grape skins (and other fruits, vegetables, and nuts).
It's thought to act like an antioxidant protecting the body from damage.
This could be our fountain of youth thought the researchers! But the research has shown little evidence of the benefits of resveratrol. In fact one study showed you'd have to drink the equivalent of 1000 glasses of red wine daily to get the improved benefit seen in mice‼️
Interestingly, and maybe not surprisingly, alcohol was declared a carcinogen in 1988. The link between alcohol and cancer has been studied extensively. Surely you must need to be a heavy drinker to increase cancer risk right? The most frightening revelation is that cancer risk increases no matter how little or what type of alcohol you drink. According to Cancer Research UK, “there’s no ‘safe’ limit for alcohol when it comes to cancer.” The American Cancer Society advises not to drink any alcohol. It doesn’t matter what type of alcohol you drink it’s the alcohol itself that leads to the damage, regardless of whether you drink beer, wine, or hard alcohol.
So now you know. You’re free to make your own choices about what you put in your body but you may be fooling yourself if you’re drinking for “health” reasons.
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